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A very new and important chapter in my career was a singing competition called Talent Africa. It’s important for a number of reasons:

  1. It gave me the opportunity to travel to New York to represent South Africa at Talent America. I placed second in my age category and was second to two other South African finalists (yay SA girls!!!)
  2. In order to get to New York, I had to fundraise. The effort of fundraising showed me who my support team is and how much I am capable of.
  3. Through the connections I made from Talent Africa, I landed my teaching job.

New York was amazing and wonderful and terrifying and fantastic. I was only there for a week, but I saw and learned so much about myself and my craft. I learned that my home will always be here in South Africa. I learned that the singing techniques we learn at university level here in South Africa are equal to, if not better than, the techniques used by Broadway level singers. I learned that I am a typical tourist: I took 900 photos on my phone in a week. Of everything. Even the turtles.

The competition itself ended up being secondary to the experience of travelling to a new country and experiencing the culture and the sights. My favourite part of the whole trip, that I will remember as a moment of independence and exhilarating happiness, was when I left Macy’s and it was pouring with rain. I got thoroughly soaked running for cover at the nearest Starbucks, but I was laughing with glee. I was running through the rain in New York City. A place I had only dreamed of being in. We even had Sarah-Jessica Parker outside our hotel! I was walking the same streets that countless performers have walked before me. Such a small moment, but that moment was an experience that I had on my own, for myself.

What are some moments you’ve had that have had a huge impact on you?

Love

Cassie Rae

P.s. Here are some more photo highlights of the trip:

 

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